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Colorado firearms magazine maker leaving state due to new gun laws

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Magpul Industries, a manufacturer of ammunition magazines, is moving its corporate headquarters to Texas, making good on its threat to leave its base in Colorado because of new restrictions on guns.

"Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important," Magpul Chief Executive Richard Fitzpatrick said in a statement on Thursday.

Magpul threatened last year to leave in response to new state laws that ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, require universal background checks for gun buyers and force gun buyers to pay for their own background checks.

The company, which employs about 250 people in Colorado, will move its corporate headquarters to a yet-to-be determined site in Texas.

Most of its jobs will be moved to Wyoming, where manufacturing and distribution will take place, the Denver Post quoted spokesman Duane Liptak as saying.

"This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion," Fitzpatrick said.

Colorado has seen two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

The state implemented the new legislation in March 2013, about nine months after a gunman opened fire in a packed theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

Texas Governor Rick Perry welcomed Magpul to the state, with his office saying Texas has been trying to woo other firearms companies facing restrictive regulations in their home states.

"In Texas, we understand that freedom breeds prosperity, which is why we've built our economy around principles that allow employers to innovate, keep more of what they earn and create jobs," Perry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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